Review Summary: A call, an ode to joy. What dark dream does our life destroy? What hand? What voice? What guide? We have reached the end of our night...
Score One For Safety was a regrettably short-lived screamo band consisting of current members of All Of The Empires Of The World, Lahars, and hopefully other great bands that I have yet to discover. This EP is one of the most profound examples of songwriting maturation I have ever come across. SOFS first EP, Animals And Objects
(hint to the meds), was pretty tasty, a bit haphazardly composed, pretty amateur sounding, but def some quality skramz. YONI/Like A Rice-Filled Bird, You Explode
was a drastic change of sound for the band, where they explored breakbeat and post-rock soundscapes. The band went from just another screamo band to an epic emotional journey loaded with ambient interludes and intense outbursts. Castles
is the pinnacle of this growth. Everything about it is perfect. Straight from the beginning, you find yourself gimmick free. No sound clips, no pointless (if enjoyable) intros, just straight to the point with shrieking and an airy riff. At 35 seconds, the band breaks down to just drums and bass, and then into a beautiful clean guitar break, here the band shows themselves able to experiment with new things AND to piece them together with such wonderful flow. The loud to quiet transitions sound more natural than anything else of the sort I have ever heard.
Simon's vocal display on this album is such a drastic improvement, that I as a vocalist, must address it. On Animals And Objects everything he did sounded strained, his clean singing was flat, but it was still enjoyable. On YONI, he sounded fine, but the mix wasn't right. On Castles, you'll hear one of the most incredible pterodactyl shrieks ever, mixed with a Dallas Taylor-esque "talk screaming" approach, and... wow, this dude can sing. Much less hardcore-ish mid range. Just shrieks, short bursts of speaking, and beautiful clean singing mostly in the background. There's even a segment towards the end of Castles with a-ca-pella singing that's not just ambient vocalization, and seriously, it's one of the most beautiful moments of the entire EP.
Anyway, back to the EP as a whole. Each song has a clearly established start and finish, however, the whole album flows so well that it might as well be one, perfect song. I cannot help but address how perfectly these guys figured out how to piece everything together. The soundscapes at the beginning of Castles II would not work nearly as well without the clean vocalizations over top, and the dissonant segment following would be lent to nothing but screams on previous releases. The song lengths aren't forcibly long like so many other "post-rock" influenced releases, though the first track has that building and unleashing 7 minute torrent of emotion that we all love so much, Castles II achieves this in just over 3 minutes, no contrived scraps-pieced-together b.s. here.
Oh and since they uploaded this themselves: